Alcoholism is a serious threat to the health and life of an addicted person. This enemy is very difficult to treat, because the source of alcoholism is not clear. There are many factors here. I am talking not only about the psychological, emotional and social ones. It should be remembered that biological or spiritual factors also have a strong influence on the development of alcoholism. Alcoholism does not show up suddenly, it just progresses and takes its toll imperceptibly. The progress of alcoholism is always preceded by certain symptoms that, if noticed in time, will help to inhibit the development of addiction.
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The phases of alcoholism
Alcoholism develops in four stages. In each of the following, it progresses significantly. There are more and more symptoms, and the addiction itself is gaining momentum. Importantly, research shows that women become addicted more quickly. This applies to all substances (alcohol, drugs, medications), but also to behavioral disorders – sex addiction, shopaholism, Internet addiction. Psychotherapists emphasize that treatment can be started at any time and is usually successful. The most important thing is to start therapy as soon as possible and seek professional help. How can you recognize the phases of alcoholism in order to react and help yourself and your loved ones?
The pre-alcohol phase, or the initial phase
The first phase, usually called introductory (pre-alcoholic), usually does not arouse any suspicions. It can go on for several years and be nothing to worry about. The symptoms of this phase are very similar to the behavior of people who use alcohol occasionally. Key in this situation is the perception of alcohol by the potentially addicted person. Alcohol becomes a good solution for relaxation, relaxation and a way to improve mood. Such a person does not consume alcohol alone, and for this purpose uses social meetings with friends. At this stage, you are usually not intoxicated, but your tolerance to alcohol will gradually increase. However, it comes to psychological dependence.
The person in this phase more and more often looks for an opportunity to drink alcohol, which, as before, brings him relief and relief. It has a relaxing effect and becomes an essential element of social gatherings. In such a person, their mood usually improves significantly after consuming a high-proof drink. She becomes more talkative and open. She initiates drinking herself and “speeds up the pace” of drinking subsequent glasses. It also happens that he “gets drunk” alone before or after the party. Her alcohol tolerance grows and her memory becomes lapsed very often. It is true that he behaves normally, talks and functions without disturbance, but he does not remember what he said or did, even after consuming a small amount of alcohol. At this stage, the potential alcoholic finds a number of explanations and justifications for his behavior.
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The critical phase
The next step on the way to addiction is entering a critical or acute phase. It is characterized by the emerging compulsion to drink alcohol. This desire is so strong that all the promises made (to themselves or to others) cease to have any meaning. Reaching for one glass triggers a domino reaction. The time and amount of alcohol consumed increases, and the first physical symptoms of addiction appear. I am talking about the so-called alcohol craving. Alcoholism causes the addicted person to neglect himself, his family, work and the immediate environment. In addition, he loses his interests, his sex drive and well-being decrease. Drinking alcohol becomes one of the goals of the day. Short states of abstinence appear, with which the addicted person masks his problem. This way it is very easy and gentle to move to the next phase of addiction.